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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Using pourable epoxy on floor soft spots

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dman535

Thompsons Station, Tennessee

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Posted: 09/15/22 09:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It looks like we have a small leak on our 2021 Retro, it has created some soft spots on the osb flooring. Has anyone used pourable epoxy to strengthen the flooring in a these units? There are only a few spots near the door.

opnspaces

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Posted: 09/15/22 10:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Never used it but there are a few epoxy's marked for just what you're talking about. But you're going to want to figure out where the water is coming from that caused the soft floor in the first place.


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Microlite Mike

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Posted: 09/15/22 11:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Back in my boating days I used some "wood hardeners" to firm up areas of dry rot that would have otherwise required some extensive demolition and repairs.

Some are two-part styrene based and others are just single-part products.

I recently used this to firm up the wood underlayment that had softened when my old dishwasher leaked:

[image]

https://www.acehardware.com/departments/........513a2ff1de8d1b52630fcf6881a&gclsrc=3p.ds


One trick I learned with my boat repairs was to use an Ice Pick to create holes in the soft wood that allowed deeper penetration. The secret to repairing soft areas with a "hardener" is to get as much as possible deep into the wood. Most epoxy products are more viscous than the Minwax hardener and usually only penetrate the immediate surface area.

The Minwax product dries nice and hard which makes a good surface for gluing on new floor covering (or replacing old if it was just peeled back).

* This post was edited 09/16/22 07:27am by an administrator/moderator *


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bgum

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Posted: 09/15/22 12:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I used a two part epoxy and injected it every 10 inches or so then plugged the holes with wood dowels. I was not satisfied with the results so I made a pattern and topped the whole floor with 3/8 plywood. I did stop the leak before repair.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 09/15/22 01:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dman535 wrote:

It looks like we have a small leak on our 2021 Retro, it has created some soft spots on the osb flooring. Has anyone used pourable epoxy to strengthen the flooring in a these units? There are only a few spots near the door.


2021?

Why not seek factory warranty assistance?

Such a new unit, you need to get the manufacturer involved rather than attempting to "jerry rig" a half hearted fix that will haunt you until you dump it on the next unsuspecting owner.

Pouring epoxy over the weak spots is not really a repair (although I am sure there will be a few chime in that it works).

A real repair would be to cut out and remove the weakened and damaged subflooring past where the water leak was and into good solid wood. Then you can patch in with brand new subfloor material of your choice (for me, it wouldn't be OSB or MDF, it would be real plywood).

Once subfloor has been repaired, you will have to install new vinyl flooring to cover the repair.

Grit dog

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Posted: 09/15/22 06:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Regardless of whether you can get warranty assistance (likely not, or you wouldn’t be asking, seems many on here “think” rv warranties are generally longer than a year) or not, seems like the unit a too new for a half hearted cover up. Especially in a high traffic area.
You already have to remove and replace the flooring to do a hack job. That’s a good portion of the work. Unless there’s something unique about the construction or location of the soft spots, cut it out and fix it right is my advice.

That said. I’ve never used the epoxy wood hardeners but it doesn’t compute at all as a competent structural repair method.


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dman535

Thompsons Station, Tennessee

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Posted: 09/15/22 06:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Even though the unit is a 2021, it was purchased in 2020 and is out of warranty. I have contacted the manufactured several times and they are not getting back to me.

The soft spots are not numerous - and I know the proper repair is to cut out the osb and repair it. Given that I only have a few spots - I thought I might get away with an epoxy repair.

Given the location of the spots - its really going to take some work to replace the wood where the issues are. The door will have to come out - amongst some other furniture and wall panels.

[image]

* This post was edited 09/16/22 07:28am by an administrator/moderator *

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 09/15/22 08:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dman535 wrote:

Even though the unit is a 2021, it was purchased in 2020 and is out of warranty. I have contacted the manufactured several times and they are not getting back to me.

The soft spots are not numerous - and I know the proper repair is to cut out the osb and repair it. Given that I only have a few spots - I thought I might get away with an epoxy repair.

Given the location of the spots - its really going to take some work to replace the wood where the issues are. The door will have to come out - amongst some other furniture and wall panels.



Wow, they have drastically shortened the warranties [emoticon] sorry to here this.

Back a few yrs ago, there were often 2 or 3 yr warranties on most TTs.

The problem with a quick fix, is the damage when it comes to water is typically a lot more extensive, the soft spots are a symptom of long term leaks that happened without your knowledge until you start noticing a soft spot.

Epoxy by itself is going to create a temporary at best hard inflexible bridge to the adjacent OSB which will still flex. The already compromised OSB around the epoxy will simply continue deteriorating.

OSB is pretty much all water based glue with large flecks of wood chips and the whole thing is pressed together under high pressure until the glue sets. All it takes is a little moisture to wick into the wood strands and it all falls apart. OSB and MDF doesn't glue well if you are looking for strength.

I didn't check your model number, if it is a "lite" or Lightweight trailer, you may have a double whammy.. Typically to save weight, the manufacturers for "lite" models use much thinner 1/4" subfloor which starts to weaken and sag in high traffic areas.. Basically the floor strength depends on the foam insulation and that breaks down each time it is walked on and flexed.

valhalla360

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Posted: 09/16/22 09:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, pulling everything out removing the entire panel and splicing in new material is the gold standard. And if it was covered under warranty, I would push for that.

Assuming you have the leak fixed and the floor dried out, thinned out epoxy is a recognized alternative used with boats. West System Epoxy has a lot of free how-to guides. I suggest doing some reading. There are some tricks to

https://www.westsystem.com/instruction-2/


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valhalla360

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Posted: 09/16/22 09:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:


Wow, they have drastically shortened the warranties [emoticon] sorry to here this.

Back a few yrs ago, there were often 2 or 3 yr warranties on most TTs.


Keep in mind, new RV sales are similar to cars. A 2021 unit may have been sold in June/July 2020 which would make it over 2yrs old.

Plus, leaks are typically called out as maintenance issues unless you can prove otherwise, so after the first week or so over ownership, it's a tough battle.

I know they will never do it...but I would happily spend an extra $3-400 to get a marine grade plywood floor. For reference, that's what gets used on freeway signs that have a 15-20yr lifespan sitting out in the weather 24/7. Lots of things could be done to make your average RV far more waterproof for an extra couple grand but it's improvements to the "bones" not to the "bling".

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